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May 16, 2024

May 17, 2024


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Thursday, May 16 | 2PM-4PM


Day 1 Workshops will be held in the afternoon only on Thursday, May 16 from 2:00PM - 4:00PM. Each workshop session will only be held once on Day 1 prior to the Conference Reception (4:00PM-6:00PM). 

Day 1 - Workshop | 2:00pm - 4:00pm | 

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Motivational Interviewing in Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery: An Experiential Workshop

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William Miller
Day 2 Keynote Speaker
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of New Mexico

In this two-hour workshop, Dr. William R. Miller, who first created motivational interviewing in 1983, provides an experiential introduction to this clinical method.  He will describe and demonstrate key components of motivational interviewing and offer practice exercises to illustrate both provider and recipient experiences of this evidence-based method of facilitating conversations about change. 

Day 1 - Workshop | 2:00pm - 4:00pm | 

The Intersectionality of Addiction and Co-Occurring Issues with Transgender & Gender Diverse Clients: Gender Affirming Treatment


Clarissa Mulligan Attara
Clinical Director,
Beachway NJ

This session addresses many related issues for gender affirming and LGBTQ+ affirming treatment at SUD and MH facilities, through the lens of counselors and supervisors, and sharing information directly collected by researchers by LGBTQ+ clients. A history of counseling with these communities is discussed as are interventions available to increase affirming care 

Day 1 - Workshop | 2:00pm - 4:00pm | 

Justice through Collaboration: A Comprehensive Guide for Alcohol and Drug Clinicians in the Criminal Justice Process 

This workshop offers attendees a comprehensive overview of the intersection between the criminal justice system and substance use treatment. Key highlights include: understanding the criminal justice process, gaining an understanding of the pivotal role clinicians and providers play in influencing the trajectory of justice for those struggling with substance use disorder, learning essential tools to navigate legal procedures effectively, including understanding subpoenas, privileges, client confidentiality within a legal context, and a review of diversionary programs such as recovery court.


Robert A. Bianchi
Partner, Bianchi Law Group

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David Bruno
Partner, Bianchi Law Group

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Christina Hall
Attorney, Bianchi Law Group

Day 1 - Workshop | 2:00pm - 4:00pm | 

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Pass the Mic: Amplifying Youth Voices 

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Rachel Bylancik
LMTI Supervisor,
Partners in Prevention

In this workshop, you will learn about the importance of youth voices within your programs. The workshop will cover how to get youth members fully engaged, what you can do to best support them, and understanding the importance of giving autonomy and relinquishing control. This workshop will be led in conjunction with some amazing youth advocates who can speak from personal experience. You will leave with new ideas to engage your youth members, questions to consider when working with your group, and a new sense of excitement in all the power youth can bring to your programs.

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Kira Chontow
LMTI Assistant Supervisor, Partners in Prevention

Day 1 - Workshop | 2:00pm - 4:00pm | 

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We All Have a Story: How Mental Health is a Topic for “5 out of 5” 

Eric Kussin
Founder/CEO, #SameHere Global

Through his lived experience and penchant for storytelling, Eric builds camaraderie and connection during his workshops to normalize mental health struggles and promote wellness. Eric uses engaging visual aids to demonstrate how mental health is often erroneously addressed in today’s culture through media and commercial advertisements, showing what we must overcome to understand how mental health affects everyone. Further, this session will discuss the current state of mental health and the common feelings of loneliness, separation, and even division when it comes to our personal struggles. This session will lay the foundation to refocus and dive deeper into these topics through a more collaborative lens in a setting where everyone can feel comfortable, supported by each other, and part of one big team.  

Day 1 - Workshop | 2:00pm - 4:00pm | 

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Cannabis Prevention in Schools

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This workshop will guide schools in creating a comprehensive and supportive response in the wake of cannabis legalization; shape their policies surrounding student possession and/or use of marijuana products; determine proper notification to parents and/or law enforcement; review the revised memorandum of agreement between schools and law enforcement; and cultivate a practice of supportive responses to ensure youth receive the education and support they need.

David Nash
Director of Legal Education and National Outreach, Foundation for Educational Administration

Day 1 - Workshop | 2:00pm - 4:00pm | 

Ethically Navigating Treatment Services & Recovery Supports 


Tony Polizzi
Trainer, New Jersey Prevention Network

This workshop will provide an opportunity for sharing, reflecting, and discussing the recent report by the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation detailing fraud and ethical misconduct in the addiction rehabilitation industry. Key findings of the report will be highlighted and discussed. Participants will also be educated on maintaining ethical principles while navigating clients through the continuum of care.   


Friday, May 17 | 

AM Sessions: 10:30AM-11:45AM
PM Sessions: 2:30PM-3:45PM

Day 2 Workhops

Day 2 Workshops will be held in both the morning and afternoon on Friday, May 17. AM Sessions will take place from 10:30AM - 11:45AM and PM Sessions will be 2:30PM - 3:45PM. Please note: workshop sessions are repeated and are not split into two sections.

Day 2 - Keynote | 9:10am - 10:00am | 

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Motivational Interviewing in Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

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Originally developed for treating addiction, motivational interviewing (MI) is now being used worldwide in healthcare, counseling, social work, health promotion, and education. Dr. Miller, who first described MI in 1983, will provide a practical introduction to this way of helping people change and grow. The ability to develop skillfulness with MI seems unrelated to degrees or years of professional education. Both relational and technical skills matter in the effectiveness of MI. Dr. Miller will also offer a brief overview of the extensive research base for MI and its applications in prevention. 

William Miller
Day 2 Keynote Speaker
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of New Mexico

Day 2 - Plenary | 1:00pm - 2:15pm | 

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The Neuroscience of Addiction and Prevention 

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Ruben Baler
Day 2 Plenary Speaker
Health Scientist, National Institutes of Health

The growing gap between biological and environmental evolution presents a unique opportunity for exploring the human brain, its strengths, and vulnerabilities in an interactive and stimulating way. To really understand substance use disorders (and begin to increase resiliency) we must first understand the brain, especially the evolutionary constraints that have shaped its fundamental structures and functions. This presentation builds on the growing neuroscientific understanding of human behavior to explain the intrinsic vulnerabilities that emerge from the interaction between biological, developmental, and environmental factors and the impact that drugs (and other toxic influences) can have on brain circuitry and behavior. 

Day 2 - Plenary | 1:00pm - 2:15pm | 

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"Big Vape:” An Investigative Report 

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Jamie Ducharme
Day 2 Plenary Speaker
Health Correspondent, TIME Magazine

This workshop will take attendees behind the scenes of the investigative journalism of Jamie Ducharme reporting for Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul, now streaming on Netflix. This session will dive deep into the scientific literature to assess Juul’s true potential public health impact. Jamie will share how she was able to ascertain the inside story of Juul from former employees, advisers, and investors; as well as numerous lawmakers, scientists, researchers, harm-reduction advocates, and anti-vaping activists who had crossed paths with Juul. This session will also discuss the shift in public perception of vaping from when Jamie began her reporting for her book to when the Netflix series was released. Finally, Jamie will provide insights and impressions of Juul Labs and the vaping industry she has developed over her years of coverage.  

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

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Addressing the National & State Drug Landscape 

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Jennifer Austin
Field Intelligence Manager, Drug Enforcement Agency

This workshop will explore the most recently available reporting from law enforcement, intelligence, and public health agencies and identify the current trends related to the drug environment and impacted populations. Attendees will receive an overview of the most pressing drug threats facing the Nation and New Jersey to address the overdose epidemic, inform counterdrug policies, establish priorities, and allocate resources to drive community-led prevention and intervention strategies. 

Jennifer Austin, MA will share the most recently available National reporting from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and NJ State Police Detective Sergeant Bardunias will present the status of the overdose epidemic in New Jersey and share Drug Monitoring Initiative data, the New Jersey State Police collects and analyzes near real-time from many different sources to develop a comprehensive understanding of the drug environment. 

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John Bardunias
Detective Sergeant, NJ State Police

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

Ethical Considerations When Supervising Peers

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Janine Fabrizio
Workforce Development Trainer, New Jersey Prevention Network

Ethical considerations are ingrained in our human nature and thus ever-present. Supervising peer recovery support specialists entails fostering a collaborative learning atmosphere among peers, mentors, and professionals, including those holding clinical licenses. Although overseeing individuals may pose distinct challenges, it also offers advantages to peer recovery support specialists, those in need of support, and the wider system of care. 


During this workshop, we will explore ethical challenges, dilemmas, and considerations that could arise when supervising peer recovery support specialists. Within the hour, we will offer guidance, practical techniques, and valuable suggestions rooted in best practices and evidence-based research. 

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Tim Ryan
Peer Recovery Workforce Development Trainer, New Jersey Prevention Network

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

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Patient Journey Map: Listening to the Voices of Patients in Recovery  

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Jessica Hulsey
Executive Director and Founder, Addiction Policy Forum

The Patient Journey Map was created through direct input from 60 individuals who are in recovery from a substance use disorder. This presentation covers seven phases individuals go through to find recovery: onset and progression, trigger events, getting help, care begins, treatment and recovery, lifestyle changes, and ongoing support. While every journey through treatment and recovery is unique, the patient journey map highlights common elements, bright spots, and pain points in accessing care and finding and maintaining long-term recovery. These can be used to guide attendees in improving care, moving away from the siloed approach of care to collaboration within the field, and seeing how their voice matters. It will also review the key findings pulled from the research and how they can be implemented in the field.  

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

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Intersection of Older Adults and SUD: A Case Study  


James Johnson
Secretary, NAADAC

Nearly one million adults aged 65 and older live with a substance use disorder (SUD). A growing body of literature underscores the challenges of treating older adults with SUDs. Older adults typically present with unique counseling and prevention needs, SUD symptoms, and co-occurring psychiatric and medical conditions. They also typically present unique withdrawal management, recovery support, and healthcare insurance coverage needs. This presentation will focus on the practice standards for older adults while providing an interactive discussion housed in a series of case study examples.  

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Mita Johnson
Immediate Past President and Secretary, NAADAC

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

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Up and Downstream Approaches to Prevention, Treatment, Recovery, and Harm Reduction.  

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Alexis LaPietra
System Director, Addiction Medicine Emergency Service Line, RWJBarnabas Health

This workshop will outline a whole-person, patient-centered approach to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery by integrating comprehensive peer recovery services with emergency department protocols. The presenters will explore the role of the emergency department as an entry point for patients needing SUD treatment and advocate for enhanced community collaboration. The presentation will apply an upstream/downstream public health approach to substance use prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction in healthcare settings. Additionally, the integration of harm reduction principles into all facets of SUD care will be discussed. Presenters will also delve into the resources crucial to mitigate the impacts of SUD and discuss how hospital systems can best meet patients where they are by applying a top-down approach to SUD care by integrating a full continuum of prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction strategies such as evidence-based medical care, emergency services, peer recovery specialists, social care resources, and community networks.  

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Michael Litterer
Vice President, Institute for Prevention and Recovery, RWJBarnabas Health

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

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Cultural Humility is the First Step 

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Colber Prosper
CEO and Senior Consultant, Prosper & Partners International Consulting Firm

This interactive session will share how cultural humility can be an approach to develop and adapt prevention strategies that are both culturally appropriate and improve community health systems to address risk factors that have historically disenfranchised marginalized groups. Participants will work in groups to brainstorm equitable action steps that will inform their interventions and partnerships. 

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

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Innovative Harm Reduction Strategies: Overdose Prevention Centers

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Sam Rivera
Executive Director,
OnPoint NYC

Sam Rivera delves into the operation of two groundbreaking Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs) in New York, marking a historic first for our nation. As an Afro-Taino, Sam centers his discussions on the importance and reclaiming of a movement that was built by and for the communities the OPCs serve. Sam will be sharing insights into the success of the locations, backed by the most recent data. He will also shed light on their profound impact on surrounding communities. Additionally, Sam will explore NYC's innovative procedures for overdose intervention, and discuss the crucial need for expansion of harm reduction programming and importance of stakeholder engagement and organizational structure. 

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

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Gambling, Gaming, and Addiction: A Changing Landscape  

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Tana Russell
Assistant Director,
Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling

Many addiction specialists are seeing more and more gambling and gaming-related harms pop up in the lives of their clients. Yet, few advanced training and degree programs adequately cover gambling and gaming disorders. This session will give an overview of gambling and gaming, signs of a potential addictive disorder, and options for addressing concerns through harm reduction integration, screening, and referral. If time permits, the presenter will also give an overview of specialty certification credentials available. 

Day 2 - Workshop | AM & PM Sessions | 

Integrating Peer Recovery Support Services into SUD Treatment  

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Michael Santillo
Chief Operating Officer, Prevention Link

This workshop will explore the benefits and challenges of integrating peer-to-peer recovery support services into the current substance use disorder treatment continuum of care. The workshop will present research data and theoretical models supporting this integrative recovery-oriented approach, as well as a practical, step-by-step approach to staff buy-in and multi-disciplinary team building. It will cover identifying role clarification and differentiation, developing job descriptions, ethical standards and boundaries, policies and procedures, and creating appropriate supervision and training models.

Day 2 - Lunch Panel | 12:15PM - 12:45PM | 

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Empowering Recovery with Tobacco Cessation & Other Supports in Behavioral Health:  Strategies, Resources, and Policies

This session will discuss the various resources available in NJ to support behavioral health agencies providing tobacco cessation services for clients and staff. We will also discuss the various laws and policies that have continued to create tobacco-free settings that helps to support reduced rates of tobacco use, as behavioral health clients continue to have much higher smoking rates. Learn about methods to include quitting tobacco as part of a path to recovery.

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Kimberly Burns
Southern Regional Coordinator of Tobacco Programs,
Atlantic Quit Center Supervisor,
Tobacco-Free for a Healthy NJ
Atlantic Prevention Resources


Monica Hanna
Assistant Director, Nicotine and Tobacco Recovery Program,
RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery



Diane Litterer
CEO & Executive Director,
New Jersey Prevention Network


Ashley Smith
Program Manager,

Tobacco Projects,
New Jersey Prevention Network

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